When Michael Caine won his most recent Oscar, he saluted all his fellow nominees. WRTV(TV) Vice President and General Manager Chris Schmidt-a virtually assured Emmy winner-will not have that opportunity: The only other nominee in the category-Editorial or Commentary-is Schmidt himself, for another editorial.
Although there have been instances in the distant past when no nominee was given the award, there's little likelihood that Schmidt won't win. "That's like having a wedding and no bride," said Bob Hammer, awards chairman for the Northern Ohio-Indiana region. "It's a prestigious category. We don't expect a lot of submissions, but we expect good material."
It's a vanishing category. In some years, Hammer said, there have been no entries at all. And, late last year, the Society of Professional Journalists eliminated its category for broadcast editorials, although they may still be submitted as feature stories.
Schmidt is thinking of whom to thank, noting that the commentaries he reads are a team effort. The McGraw-Hill station has a group of 12, drawn from all parts of the station, who collaborate on the pieces.
"Chris likes to joke that it's like being on the Supreme Court," said Paul Montgomery, the station's director of programming and promotion and a member of the editorial board. "He will deliver an opinion he does not necessarily agree with."